Pique loan talks planned
Gerard Pique is waiting to learn if Manchester United will allow him to join Real Zaragoza on loan.
Zaragoza are hoping to recruit the teenage defender for the season, but are awaiting talks with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Scot has previously intimated that he is willing to send Pique out on loan to further his first-team experience over the coming season.
Pique's agent Arturo Canales confirmed he is now waiting for the thumbs-up from Ferguson to follow through with the deal.
"If Gerard leaves Manchester it will be to go to Zaragoza, since it is a dream project for him," Canales told El Periodico.
"It has the possibility of playing and that is what he wishes.
"We want to speak with Ferguson to see if he wants to have the player and if he gives us a good reason for wanting him to stay."
Zaragoza are hoping to make it a double loan swoop after setting up a deal for Real Madrid full back Carlos Diogo.
"We know that Diogo has other offers, but we trust that the player can come here," said Zaragoza sporting director Miguel Pardeza.
United unveil new boy Carrick
Manchester United have unveiled Michael Carrick as their big summer signing for an initial fee of £14 million.
The England international has moved to Old Trafford from Tottenham Hotspur in a deal which could eventually rise to £18.6 million.
Carrick has been handed the number 16 shirt for the coming season and steps into the hole created by Roy Keane's departure last autumn.
The former West Ham United trainee was quick to downplay comparisons to the ex-Red Devils skipper and has vowed to stamp his own mark on his new side.
"People are always going to talk," said Carrick on the comparisons. "Roy's a legend in the game, he's one of the greats and always will be.
"I'm my own man. I can't stop people talking about it, it's not something I'm really focused on.
"I'm focused on playing my own game and doing the things I do best, that's the best way to go for me."
The 25-year-old had spent two seasons at White Hart Lane, but admits he wanted to head to Old Trafford once he learned of United's interest.
He added: "Once I heard United were involved, I wanted to come, simple as that.
"It's a terrific club, a fantastic club that has been successful over the years.
"I just wanted to come and improve my game, and become a better player, achieve things, win trophies.
"It's an awesome setup, it really is. I've settled in quickly to be honest. Everyone's been great, the backroom staff have been fantastic.
"I want to get to know the lads as quick as I can, it's not a problem. I'm delighted to be here and I am looking forward to playing the first game really."
Fergie did consider Vieira
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he did consider signing Patrick Vieira but that moves towards a second summer signing are "progressing well".
The Red Devils have unveiled Michael Carrick as their latest capture for an initial down-payment of £14 million and Ferguson was quizzed on the transfer front at a press conference.
Vieira has joined Internazionale from Juventus with Villarreal's Marcos Senna widely expected to be an alternative target for Ferguson as he looks to improve his midfield options.
"I think that we've all recognised the midfield area is something we maybe have to bolster and, of course, we kept saying about replacing Roy Keane, that kind of thing," explained Ferguson on Sky Sports News.
"But you can't get a Roy Keane. I've been trying for five years. The best way to approach it was to make sure we had good footballers with good ability to play in midfield for us to give us lots of alternatives.
"Michael's an excellent footballer, a very good passer of a ball and his range of passing is good. I think that, added to the other talents we've got in the midfield, will help us.
"At the time, from memory, it came up when Paul Scholes was at his peak," he said, when asked why he did not sign Carrick when the player left West Ham for a fraction of his current value.
"Sometimes you buy a young player to bring to the club at that point and maybe they wouldn't play every week. It's the learning process - just timing. The same as Rio Ferdinand when he was leaving West Ham to go to Leeds was exactly the same thing.
"I think he's been playing in English football for the last six or seven years. West Ham are a team where most of the young players have come through and got a good education and apprenticeship. They've come from a really good footballing background. Coming to our club is a straightforward change really.
"I don't necessarily agree [we need to sign another midfielder]," he stressed. "We may bring another one in anyway. You could say you could replace Keane with four players and go on and on. He's one of the best players of all-time. As I've said, I've been trying for years - just as we tried with Bryan Robson, when he came to the end. We kept searching and looking for a Robson. Very fortunately, we got Keane, a one-off, and it's exactly the same situation now.
"I don't see any Roy Keanes but I do recognise ability, which is why I bought Michael.
"I think Roy was a possession player. A straightforward A to B passer. His percentage was incredible, always 90 percent plus. Michael is a far more imaginative passer of the ball, he hits longer passes and is a different type of passer from Roy but the most important thing is the ability to retain possession, which Roy was good at."
The Red Devils boss admits he was monitoring the Vieira situation but the move to Inter has ended any hopes of landing the former Arsenal captain.
"A different type of player from Michael? The rumour-mongering might be right," he explained. "Vieira was a player in the Italian situation, which was interesting in that everyone wanted to see what the outcome was going to be.
"Once they were relegated, Juventus were the club everyone was going to target. Milan were not affected by the drop, therefore I don't think any of their players will be leaving. Juve lost Emerson, Lilian Thuram, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluca Zambrotta. Now they're talking about Vieira going. It was something we considered, but I believe he's accepted a really good deal from Inter. Therefore, that was the end of it."
When asked how close he was to snaring another player, Ferguson joked: "I don't think you should go home! We're getting on alright. We're progressing."
MUTV don't have the rights to show premiership games live. They do show them in full after the game tho IIRC.
With regards to who will gat a chance next season, I'm not so sure Pique will, as we currently have enough cover at the back, so IMHO a loan would do him good.
Hopefully Rossi will get a chance too, which is perhaps more likely if we don't sign a striker.
I'd also like to see Lee Martin get a chance, he's impressed me so far this pre season.
IF we loan Pique, it would make more sense for him to go to an English club, to get him used to the style of play surely? Still, SAF knows best...
RONALDO TO MISS AMSTERDAM TRIP
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo will not take part in this weekend's Amsterdam tournament.
The Portuguese ace only returned to training this week after his involvement at the World Cup.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has decided not to include Ronaldo, Louis Saha and Mikael Silvestre for the trip to Holland as they have only recently returned to training.
"Obviously some players will go and some won't," said Ferguson.
"Because for instance Saha, Silvestre and Ronaldo were just back in training on Monday. They won't go. "
Ferguson also revealed Gabriel Heinze and Nemanja Vidic will not be involved as they battle to shake off injuries.
"Heinze and Vidic are still recovering from injuries and they won't travel either.
"All the rest will go including Michael (Carrick)."
So it looks like Ronaldo's first match will be the friendly against Seville, our last game before the season starts. Hope he's at full fitness by the Fulham game.
Rafa where do you think Pique should go on loan?
Who can compete with wealthy Chelsea?
Billionaire's playground: will Abramovich become bored with football?
So far this summer Chelsea have spent £50 million on new players - an extraordinary amount considering they have won the Barclays Premiership the past two seasons. Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, has been quick to comment on the inflation of transfer fees by suggesting that Andriy Shevchenko is not worth 35 Eric Cantonas.
Not everyone is influenced by Abranovich's riches. Hernan Crespo has turned down the offer of a private jet from the Russian in the hope of securing a return to Italy. But are Chelsea's motives entirely selfish? They sold Damian Duff to Newcastle United for a cut-price £5m after he cited a lack of first-team opportunites for wanting to leave and Tyneside can hardly believe its luck at getting him.
What effect do you think Chelsea's spending power is having on the English game? Can anybody stop them winning the Premiership this season? Will Abramovich's outlay be worth it if Chelsea can win the Champions League? And what would happen if Abramovich left Chelsea?
what do you guys think?
Pique deal all but done
Manchester United have all but tied up a deal for youngster Gerard Pique to play on loan at Real Zaragoza for the coming season.
The Catalunya-born centre back was part of the Spanish team which won the European Under-19 Championship this summer, and there are high hopes for him at Old Trafford.
But with four main centre halves already in the ranks in Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Mikael Silvestre, United have decided the 19-year-old would benefit from the experience of top flight football in Spain.
The Liga side will be financially penalised if they do not play the Red Devils starlet in at least 20 games, so the deal has worked out well for both sides.
"Ferguson has a lot of confidence in the kid and the option in Spain is perfect for his progression in the sport," the player's agent Arturo Canales explained.
Pique represents new coach Victor Fernandez's fifth summer signing at the Estadio La Romareda following the arrivals of Juanfran, Sergio Fernandez, Pablo Aimar and Andres D'Alessandro.
He is set to take the number five shirt at Zaragoza, who will now turn their attentions to their negotiations to take Real Madrid's attack-minded full back Carlos Diogo on loan for the season as well.
Villarreal accepting Senna fate
Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that Marcos Senna is edging closer to a move to Manchester United.
The Spain international is one of Sir Alex Ferguson's chief targets after securing the services of Tottenham star Michael Carrick for an initial fee of £14 million.
Although the Brazil-born midfield battler is happy to remain with the Yellow Submarines, the two clubs are close to agreeing a deal.
"In the case of Marcos, nothing is 100 percent finalised," explained Pellegrini to Marca.
"I understand that this is a great opportunity for him but, for us, it is going to be a great footballing loss if he does end up going.
"If he leaves, I'll be happy for him but I will be sad for the team.
"I am very happy for him because he deserves it. He is a player who has proved his class and I have always found it very strange that nobody came in for him sooner as he is a great player."
United boss Ferguson has confirmed he is hoping to make more moves in the transfer market before the window slams shut at the end of August.
The 30-year-old was included in Spain's World Cup squad and impressed during Villarreal's UEFA Champions League run, as they helped knock United out along the way to the semi-finals.
Sorry if anyone's had this thought and posted it already... but why hasn't Owen Hargreaves been mentioned as one of Man Utd's targets?
I think he'd be the perfect player for them. Senna is good, but he's 30 and realistically only has about 3 good seasons left in him. Hargreaves is 25 and has a huge amount of Champions League experience... so it seems strange that he should be overlooked.
I doubt he'd break the bank either. Although perhaps Bayern Munich would be reluctant to let United have him, after the way they handled van Nistelrooy's transfer.